By Joel Hillan

ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) – A special fire-based camp is helping some young women explore a possible career as a firefighter.

Camp Ember introduces young women ages 16-18 to the world of firefighting and emergency medical services (EMS).

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“So today we are cutting up cars and hitting cars and practicing saving someone,” explained Jayda Hinton.

She is one of 15 females participating in the special camp.

Jayda Hinton (credit: CBS)

“Since I was like five years old, I told my mom, ‘Oh I want to be a firefighter.'”

At just 5-foot, Jayda may not look like your typical firefighter, but she says that doesn’t matter.

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“I may not be able to do things that taller guys can do, but I can do lots of other things because of my shape and my size, so I just push myself and get around those things.”

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Hanna Snare learned about pushing her limits as well.

Hanna Snare (credit: CBS)

“It felt absolutely amazing just to know that what I thought was my limit wasn’t and I could push myself even further.”

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She said she was a little wary coming into the camp, but quickly felt at home surrounded by mentors and peers who also defy stereotypes.

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“The fact that I’m surrounded by a bunch of women that have pursued this industry and have become successful, I find it really amazing because it’s not the norm. It’s a sense of belonging and I know where I should be now.”

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Young women, willing to defy the stereotype and rise to the challenge of public service.

“It just really shows that you don’t have to be big guy with huge muscles to help or save people or make a difference; everyone’s a superhero in some way, they just have to find what drives them.”

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The annual camp is hosted by Arvada Fire Protection District, Red Rocks Community College and West Metro Fire Rescue.

(credit: CBS)

LINK: Camp Ember

Joel Hillan anchors CBS4 This Morning on weekends as well as reports stories for CBS4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. Follow Joel on Twitter @joelhillan.


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